Friday, April 11

Battlestar Galactica focuses on what it means to be human

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Battlestar Galactica is remarkable in so many ways, and not just because it transcended its fan-boy sci-fi origins to become a genuine mainstream cultural phenomenon.

At times, it's unspeakably sad. And at other times, it can be both spiritually affirming and unsettling, as it was in last week's season opener, He That Believeth in Me. In that episode, Gaius Baltar, the complicated little man with the messiah complex played by James Callis, sought refuge with a group of women who believe he has healing powers.

In tonight's followup episode, Six of One, Battlestar Galactica focuses on the more intimate, personal detail of what it means to be human. In it, Kara Thrace, the spiritual heart and soul of one of TV's most enigmatic dramas, tries desperately to convince the others that they are going the wrong way in their search for home.

As played by Katee Sackhoff, Thrace, is one of the most complex female anti-heroes ever to appear in a fictional TV drama. She's impetuous, headstrong, short-tempered, impatient and unpredictable in her relationships, but also intelligent, physically tough and unswervingly loyal to her friends.

And when those friends begin to doubt her -- as they have ever since she vanished, presumably dead, only to suddenly reappear --it's all too easy to relate to the fear and uncertainty in her every move.

Battlestar Galactica is blessed, too, with an accomplished ensemble of homegrown performers, from Tricia Helfer as the titillating Number Six to Grace Park as ace pilot -- and sleeper agent -- Sharon (Boomer) Valerii. The cast includes such veteran B.C. performers as Callum Keith Rennie, Donnelly Rhodes, so memorable in Da Vinci's Inquest, Tahmoh Penikett and Michael Hogan, in arguably the performance of a lifetime as mercurial, booze-soaked station commander Saul Tigh, a seen-it-all kind of guy who hides a dark secret.

Battlestar Galactica is an amazing, incredible ride, on virtually every level. (10 p.m., Space)

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